'Florodora', a musical comedy in two acts, was composed by Leslie Stuart, with lyrics by Ernest Boyd-Jones and Paul Reubens, book by Owen Hall and additional songs by Paul Reubens. It opened at the Lyric Theatre, London, on 11th November 1899. There were many revivals over the following two decades.

  • Cyrus W Gilfain - proprietor of the perfume and the island of Florodoa
  • Frank Abercoed - manager for Gilfain on Florodora
  • Captain Arthur Donegal - 4th Royal Life Guards and Lady Holyrood's brother
  • Leandro - overseer of Florodora's farms
  • Anthony Tweedlepunch - a showman, phrenologist, hypnotist and palmist
  • Lady Holyrood
  • Dolores
  • Angela Gilfain
  • Tennyson Sims, Ernest Pym, Max Apfelbaum, Reginald Langdale, Paul Crogan, John Scott - Gilfain's clerks
  • Daisy Chain, Mamie Rowe, Lucy Ling, Cynthia Belmont, Lottie Chalmers, Clare Fitzclarence - friends of Angela


Florodora is a small island in the Philippines owned by Cyrus W Gilfain, and it is where the Florodora perfume is produced from native flowers, using a secret formula known only to Gilfain. The show opens with a chorus by the flower-pickers (No. 1 - 'Flowers a-blooming so gay'). The business side is handled by six imported clerks (No. 2 - 'The credit's due to me'). The whole is managed by Frank Abercoed, who fled from London to avoid marrying a wealthy lady he did not love. He is now in love with the native Dolores, who enters singing (No. 3 - 'The silver star of love'). As he is already engaged, Frank hints to Dolores that is in love with 'Somebody' (No. 4).

The charlatan Anthony Tweedlepunch arrives, on the trail of a Miss Guisara. He is followed by the Gilfain (No. 5 - 'Chorus of welcome'). He has just bought a castle in Wales to be the base for his British Florodora sales. He has also brought some young ladies with him, who are welcomed by the clerks (No. 6 - 'Come and see our island'). In addition, he is accompanied by the Society widow Lady Holyrood (No. 7 - 'When I leave town'), who is seeking the hand of Gilfain's daughter Angela for her brother, Captain Donegal.

Lady Holyrood recognises Abercoed, and reveals that, due to a death in the family, he is now Lord Abercoed. His previous finacee has also married someone else, leaving him free to pursue Dolores.

Although Angela and Donegal are anxious to marry (No. 8 - 'Galloping'), but Gilfain has now decided that Lord Abercoed is a better match - especially as he himself is in love with Dolores. Lady Holyrood, however, has set her sights on Gilfain (No. 9 - 'I want to marry a man, I do'). Angela sings an incidental song about 'The fellow who might' (No. 10).

Tweedlepunch is engaged by Gilfain to help in his plan, posing as a phrenologist (No. 11 - 'Phrenology'). Cyrus calls everyone together and says that they will be paired up according to the principles of phrenology - in reality, of course, his chosen pairings. Unfortunately, Tweedlepunch is not believed (No. 12 - 'When an interfering person'). Abercoed resigns, says farewell to Dolores and sets off for England (No. 13 - 'The shade of the palm'). The mismatched chorus serenade Abercoed as he leaves. (No. 14 - Finale Act I).


Act 2 is set at Abercoed Castle, which Gilfain purchased from Frank's family when they were penniliess. He has brought everyone from Florodora with him (No. 15 - Opening Chorus Act II). Lady Hollyrood, who is aiding Gilfain in becoming accepted by society, tells of the importance of 'Tact' (No. 16). Gilfain then shares his philosophy of the good life (No. 17 - 'The millionaire'). As Captain Donegal has been invited to stay, Angela sings a song (No. 18 - 'Willie was a gay boy' - ah, you don't get song titles like that any more, do you?).

The six clerks continue to court Angela's six friends in the famous 'Tell me, pretty maiden' (No. 19). Tweedlepunch and Dolores then appear dressed as actors (No. 20 - 'When we are on the stage').

Lady Hollyrood is convinced that she will soon persuade Gilfain to marry her (No. 21 - 'I've an inkling'). Frank, meanwhile, has returned to say farewell to his ancesteral home. He meets Dolores, who sings of another doomed romance (No. 22 - 'Queen of the Philippine Islands'). Donegal then entertains the guests with a song (No. 23 - 'I want to be a military man'), and Vallendra and Leandro, disguised as servants, explain why they are superior to their masters (No. 24 - 'We get up at 8am').

Lady Hollyrood then discovers that Gilfain is, in reality, a charlatan who had been entrusted with the guardianship of the daughter of the owner of Florodora, Guisara, but had taken for the island for himself and let the girl grow up in ignorance of her inheritance. The girl is, of course, Dolores, and this is the reason for Gilfain persuing her hand in marriage. To put things right, Lady Hollyrood persuades Tweedlepunch to tell Gilfain of the curse on Abercoed Castle, which will fall on anyone who deprives a maiden of her inheritance. Lady Hollyrood appears as a ghost and suceeds in inducing a confession, and allowing everyone to pair up appropriately (No. 25 - Finale Act II).

The bonus songs (No. 26 - 'He loves me' and No. 27 - 'The island of love') were sung by Dolores at various points in Act 2.